Firstly, I agree that you need to learn HTML and CSS before you do anything; to a decent enough level where you can create decent looking sites. Part of this also includes:
- Design concepts and principals (so you don't create stuff that is bad from an interaction and accessibility perspective)
- Cross browser and cross platform issues
- Performance issues
Having an eye for design and artistic talent is also very important if you plan to actually design the sites yourself; if you are using a designer to perform the artistic side of things and you are on the technical side then this is less important.
When you've learned how to code up UI's and understand the stuff above, learning basic PHP is helpful if you plan to use CMS's like Wordpress. You could introduce problems when you start customizing them if you don't.
When you've done all that, Wordpress is probably the easiest to get into.
On the topic of "builders"; if you mean drag and drop or DIY style builders then avoid those; you'll get really low quality results from DIY builders (bad code, tend to use standard themes with basic customization and limited in capability). Drag and drop style builders (visual authoring tools) output garbage code and are very restrictive.
Really easy to build something, really restricted in what you can do.
Software such as Dreamweaver are popular for project management, code highlighting, code hinting etc. But as with what I mentioned with the authoring tools above; avoid the visual editor and use the code editor. What Dreamweaver is, when used correctly, is used by professionals for the code editing benefits and project organization benefits.
There are loads of different editors out there and if you were to write a thread "what is the best code editor/IDE" you'll get a mass of different editors thrown at you; most based on loyalty or preference as there are loads of good editors.
Your best bet is to use the forum search as its a question that's been asked loads of times before and Google will be your friend if you search for editor reviews.